Stale country-style bread is perfect for dipping in fondue, since it retains its shape in the hot cheese bath. Have all of your ingredients ready before you begin. Once you start, the fondue will come together quickly, and during this time it must be constantly stirred and must not come to a boil.
Makes 4 servings
3 tablespoons Calvados or Poire William liqueur
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for serving
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 pound alpine cheese such as cave aged Gruyere, Emmental or Comte, grated
1 loaf stale country style bread, cut in 3/4-inch cubes
Combine liqueur, cornstarch, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the cornstarch. Set aside.
Add wine and garlic to a large heavy saucepan or fondue pot. Heat over medium heat until tiny bubbles form, giving the wine a fizzy appearance, without bringing to a boil.
Add cheese one handful at a time, stirring constantly until each handful is melted before adding the next. Do not let the fondue boil. Once all the cheese is added, continue stirring 1 minute, still being careful not to let the fondue boil.
Stir in cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring until mixture thickens to fondue consistency. (If fondue remains thin, add 1 more tablespoon cornstarch diluted with 2 tablespoons white wine.)
Remove from heat. Pour cheese into a warm fondue pot if necessary. Serve immediately. Serve with additional freshly ground black pepper.